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Thursday 26 April 2018
26 April 2018 - NEWS UPDATE

EDF Energy mothballs planned Hinkley C nuclear power site

Despite recently publishing a list of preferred suppliers for the £24 billion project, the French firm were in behind-the-scenes talks with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), during which they informed them of their decision to mothball the site.

In April, bosses at contractors Nuclear New Build Genco (NNB) – a consortium including EDF Energy, China General Nuclear Corporation and investors – introduced a spending cap because of uncertainty surrounding the Final Investment Decision.

Preparations for construction continued to move forward, but all work has now been stopped and the site has been placed in a state of "care and maintenance".

Hinkley C is supposed to be the first new nuclear plant in the UK since the 1980s and is scheduled to start producing electricity in 2023. EDF, however, is still negotiating with Energy Ministers about Government guarantees for the project, along with decommissioning costs.

A statement by the ONR confirmed: "Until it is ready to fully remobilise the project, NNB GenCo is retaining a core capability to maintain oversight of the continuing programme of activities associated with development of the detailed design, production of the Hinkley Point C site.

"ONR is monitoring the impact of the budget constraint upon NNB GenCo Ltd's competency and capability. Furthermore, ONR inspectors continue to engage with the programme of design and safety case activities so that ONR is ready to respond when NNB GenCo decides to fully remobilise the project.

"However, the reduction in spend means that work on preparing the site for start of construction has stopped. Until NNB GenCo is ready to resume preparations for deep excavation ahead of start of construction, activity at the site is limited to the management of material stockpiles and water management zones, remediation of asbestos contaminated land and archaeological surveys."

ONR said it had taken the decision to suspend the production of future inspection reports until after NNB GenCo has made its Final Investment Decision and is ready to remobilise the project.

Its statement added: "ONR also intends to suspend attendance at the Cannington Forum until the site exits the current period of Care and Maintenance and resumes its preparations for the start of construction."
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